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Industry leaders rally to decarbonise mining

More than a dozen mining companies have initiated the Electric Mine Consortium to reduce scope one and two carbon emissions in extractive operations.

The consortium comprises 14 industry leaders that has been assembled by State of Play, a research platform for discussion and industry innovation.

Members of the consortium include Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, Epiroc, South32, IGO, OZ Minerals, Gold Fields and Barminco.

The aim of the consortium is to reduce scope one and two carbon emissions through the use of clean energy, large-scale storage and electric mining vehicles.

A joint statement from the chief executives involved four stated goals, including resolving technology choices, shaping the supplier ecosystem, influencing policy, and communicating the business case.

While the electrification of mines will reduce greenhouse gases, one benefit of the initiative will be a reduction of workforce exposure to hazardous particulates produced through the burning of diesel.

Chief operating officer of IGO Matt Dusci said he was glad to be involved with like-minded industry professionals.

“We are proud to support and be part of the Electric Mine Consortium and look forward to working collaboratively with our peers toward the decarbonisation of our industry,” Dusci said.

Sandvik’s sustainable business, marketing and communications manager Kate Bills believes the consortium is the way to achieving its emissions goals for 2030.

“Sandvik is committed to using engineering and innovation to advance the world towards more sustainable business,” she said.

“Joining the Electric Mine Consortium and leading the electrification and automation transition in mining are some of the many ways we will achieve our 2030 sustainability ambitions.”

The consortium came about after State of Play underwent an extensive research program to survey more than 450 individuals on the topic of mining electrification.

A similar survey by State of Play reported 87 per cent believe existing mine sites would be fully electric by 2040, while 60 per cent believed all greenfield mines would be fully electric in the same timeframe.

State of play co-founder Graeme Stanway admitted costs were one of the biggest factors holding companies back from investing in renewables.

“Our data shows renewables, all electric systems and batteries will help fuel the change towards a healthier, economically viable future of mining, but uncertainty remains when it comes to which area to invest in first, and how,” he said.

But Stanway added Australia was as well placed as anywhere in the world to implement renewables across industry.

“Here in Australia, we have an abundance of renewables that the industry is tapping into, particularly in our most remote operations. Local mine sites have the opportunity to install solar, wind and battery energy storage systems to power their operations at a much cheaper cost than many global players,” he said.

Other founding consortium companies are 3ME Technologies, Dassault, Energy Vault, Hahn Electrical, Horizon Energy, Safescape and State of Play.

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